Petroleum ministry launches new exploration licensing policy

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (ANI): Petroleum Secretary R. S. Pandey on Thursday launched the eighth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), and said the offer would remain open for four months till August 10, 2009.

The Ministry has also thrown open 70 new blocks for bids to the Indian and foreign companies for exploration of oil and natural gas.

"Out of 70 blocks, 24 are in deep water, 24 in shallow water and 18 on land. 10 blocks under Coal Bed Methane were also opened for bidding," Pandey told reporters here.

Pandey stated that if the response would be good then 40 to 50 more blocks might be opened for bidding in the later part of the year.

The Petroleum Secretary said the bidding would lead to 42 billion dollars of gas in the next 11 years.

"The oil exploration in the biggest find in Barmer District of Rajasthan will start soon and it will be enough to meet 25 percent of oil needs of the country in next 18 months," he added. (ANI)

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